Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Mon, July 16 2012 at 4:01 PM, Updated: Mon, July 16 2012 at 4:09 PM
Wildland fire fighters are gearing up for a busy week east of the Cascades, and additional restrictions have been put in place on public lands.
With lightning in the forecast, Randall Baley of the Oregon Department of Forestry notes that fire fighters are ready to strike: "With the heat, and then with the drying fuels and conditions, it's a recipe where we could be very busy for the next 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 days."
Fire danger remains 'high' in Klamath and Lake counties. Baley notes that a regulated use closure went into effect Monday morning...
"No fireworks, no campfires - only in designated areas." Off-road vehicle traffic is now prohibited. "only smoking inside your vehicle, when you're out in the woods - no smoking outside the vehicle whatsoever."
Additional restrictions are also in effect for commercial forest operations.
With a fire weather watch now in effect, Baley says that fire fighters are prepared for the worst...
"They've put in a lot of training up to this point. They're anxious, and they're ready to go."
While there are currently plenty of fire fighting resources available, the main game plan is to keep small fires from becoming large fires.
Fire season went into effect on public lands in Klamath and Lake counties on ay 25th, which is a little earlier than usual.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.